Sunday, 6 January 2008

Crew ... comings and goings.

Well Alex left yesterday on his first two week break since joining WildEarth. He has arrived in Cape Town and plans to make a trip into the Namibian desert on his own. James is back from his break and will be filling in for Alex on camera, until Pieter gets back tomorrow. So for the next week or so Pieter and Rexon will both present and do camera ... with a little help from James and Jan directing.
After this morning's drive James packed all 4 battery chargers into his car and made a bee line for Nelspruit, where Danie is standing by to make some alterations to the voltage that the chargers operate at. According to our calculations this should make a big difference to the duration of the drives. He will only get back just before this afternoon's drive, so WE won't have had time to test the new chargers, and as a result this afternoon's drive may be even shorter than usual. However, the repaired chargers will work through the night and tomorrow morning's drive should tell us whether or not our calculations are right. WE do, of course, know that the batteries have lost some of their capacity and will need replacement, but WE just want to see by how much first.
On another note, Maxx has written a comment requesting that WildEarth "come clean" in respect of the CDN (Content Distribution Network) that will allow more than 80 people to watch the stream simultaneously. He has suggested that many of you do not believe WE, because we began discussing the need for this CDN in May 2007 and still nothing has happened. We understand the frustration of not being able to get a 'slot' ... WE share it with you. However, I would like to explain exactly what is going on.
WildEarth is a content wholesaler. That is to say: WE license our 24 hour per day stream to broadcasters, currently Telkom Media, and they are responsible for distributing the stream to an audience and converting that distribution into revenue. Telkom Media is a relativley young broadcaster which will be coming of age in 2008. They do not yet have the billing systems, administrative systems, customer relationship systems, network, etc. in place yet, to provide a world class quality of service at a level that they would be comfortable taking your subscription money and have therefore elected to wait until they do. They are working hard to implement these, and other, systems, and I am assured that they will be of the absaloute highest standard.
Furthermore, WildEarth would also like to see some significant changes and upgrades to the content before you, our valued audience, are expected to begin paying for this service. WE are working on two brand new game drive vehicles, more waterholes, a much better final control, 100% power reliability in all circumstances and three times the crew.
Notwithstanding the apparant slow pace of these developments, if you stop to think about it you will realise that there is no way so many skilled and experienced people would go to so much effort to only broadcast to 80 people ... and loose a great deal of money in the process.
WE are only just beginning ... and you are the beta testers ... its in your nature ... and WE thank you for that.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

so frustrating...you ARE the best site for african animal watching. why the %$#@&&^ can't you get some advice from national geo or africams about their websites... they seem to broadcast 24/7 without problems... I know that is simplistic thinking, but COME ON!... haven't been on the jeep in months and am very angry about that...

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the information. I, for one, would be more than willing to pay a monthly subscription to be sure of getting a seat on the landy. I enjoy the drives tremendously, and look forward to the upgrades in the new year. Thank you so much for all you do!

Sharon

Karen said...

Hi Graham and WE Family,
I would like to personally thank you for going above and beyond in going in to extreme detail of how things are laid out between WE, Telkom and us Viewers.
Speaking only for myself here, I have pretty much understood what WE has been trying to share with us for quite some time. Yes, I will admit that I would love to have things as close to perfect as possible, BUT that is a very hard thing to expect with every thing involved in what your long laid out plans are.

It might be taking longer than expected or any of the Viewers wish for, but it looks like Telkom is trying to make sure every thing is in place before they take it to the next steps, probably in hopes of most everything being smoothed out as close as possible before any subscription fees are required to continue our viewing pleasures of all of WE's hard work in sharing your love of the African Bush and what Mother Nature has to share with the rest of the World.

Again THANK YOU once again for all you have done and continue to do.

Cheers from Virginia!

Karen

LadyDoc said...

Hello to everyone at WE!

Thank you for the thorough explanation of your current situation and long-range plans. Your sharing of this information is evidence of WE's commitment to its audience and many of us really value this.

I have been watching WE since August and have come to love using this site and all its resources. I have been in love with Africa since childhood and this site has allowed me to participate in life there in a way never before possible for me, and for that I am truly grateful.

To me, any trip on the landie is a joy and a thrill and I am so happy that this amazing experience is possible at all.

The dedication of all at WE to this effort is obvious and I truly appreciate all of you and everything you do.

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful land and its incredible animals with all of us.

Waving enthusiastically from Philadelphia, USA!

Teresa

Lily said...

Hi Folks,
I am not able to comment on how great the drives are, as I have rarely been able to connect.
I have seen only one complete drive since April 2007. However, what I see on the posted videos is great, and comments indicate they are wonderful. I would love to see one myself.
But....You cannot be serious when you suggest that I will pay in the future for a product I have not seen, guaranteed
viewing or not. I would not consider it, and neither would you. Make enough "slots" available so I can evaluate the service, then we can talk.
You made reference to issues being worked on and said "I would like to explain" and "I am assured".
I wonder - who is "I"? I know that Pete LeRoux is Pete's Pond, and I know that Campbell Scott is Africam, but so far,
no one has stood up to say "My name is_____ and I represent WildEarth". We are given just the cryptic initials W and E. Who writes your posts on the blog, folks? --- wouldn't it be prudent of you to have them signed? Does the writer really represent WildEarth? It would really be nice to know who is telling us these things.

My thanks to you.
Lily

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your explanations but, I have a question. How does Africam have 24/7 live coverage for unlimited amount of people?

I thoroughly enjoy your live game drives when I can get on the landie! Thank you for all the good work but, I know that I will not be able to pay a subscription to watch the drives, and I know a lot of your other "beta testers" will not be able to pay either. This is sad :-(

LadyDoc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gracie said...

Sounds like lots of great things are going to be happening and I can't wait!

Any idea of how much we'll be paying for this service once evrything is in place?

Will it be unlimited openings?

Until then keep up the great work.

Gracie

Raven-Camwatchers Cafe said...

I appreciate how WE is keeping us in the loop. I am one of the ones that uses Maxx's link because I can not use WMP as most do to connect. It is a shame that a couple of bad apples have caused this to be abandoned. It was truly wonderful and saved me from carpal tunnel. I am one that is willing to pay a price to guarantee a spot on the landy. I hope there will be several "free" spots as there are now.
Keep up the great work!
Raven~Camwatchers Cafe

thadlo said...

Wow, I understand folks being frustrated because it is difficult to get onto the site - esp. during drives. However, since when does WE owe anyone anything? Once WE starts charging THEN subscribers can be up in arms, but until then it is a privilege and not a right.
I'm sure WE is as close as I'll ever get to being there in the flesh and although I rarely connect, I enjoy every bit!
Thanks WE.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to WE for the great Q/A session today! I wasn't able to watch it live, but did see the video. It was very interesting and fun!

dolly7530 said...

My turn to say a few words ..i love being on a drive when i can get hooked up..thanks to maxx's idea of sharing a player..Sure saves on fingers and wrist..but i would like to know why you didn't realize 80 slots not causing problems ? I for one have seen your drives about 7 or 8 years ago and this same thing happen? So WE you knew what would happen not having room for a bunch more hook up's..I just knew this was going to happen but i still try to get on ..i'm hooked just like every one else .

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should put up a donation button ? I would give in a minute..Wonderful site..And the camera zoomie is wonderful